NOAA issues summer 2023 outlook
The Deep South is in for a hotter than average summer
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - It’s officially here! The summer outlook from the Climate Prediction Center arrived this week for the U.S. It looks at the 3-month period from June 1st through August 31st -- also known as meteorological summer.
If the outlook is taken verbatim, Alabama should brace for a very hot and stormy summer.
How’s that differ from a normal summer in Alabama? We all know it’s always hot here in June, July and August. That’s nothing new. Average highs are in the lower to middle 90s each day.
The outlook says there is a high degree of confidence in above normal temperatures. So if our average highs range from 90° to 94° during the summer months, that means we should plan on seeing plenty of middle and upper 90s.
That is what it would take to get us “above average.” Some days at or above 100 degrees are also likely to occur. That’s not a guarantee as forecasting this far in advance is nearly impossible. But history and this year’s pattern favor some triple digit days in Central and South Alabama.
For those wondering, the average number of 100-degree days that occur between June 1st and August 31st is just over three. That’s using the last 30 years of climate data for Montgomery specifically.
Precipitation falls in the same boat as temperatures according to the outlook.
The Climate Prediction Center is leaning towards a wetter than normal June, July and August given the incoming El Nino, among other things. Montgomery picks up about 17 inches of rainfall during the summer. Most of this comes from those pop-up showers, downpours and thunderstorms.
Given Alabama’s placement in the “above normal precipitation favored” category I would look for plenty of those days with pop-up showers and thunderstorms. It’s impossible to say where these will develop on any given day. We all know that.
What we can say, though, is there will be ample opportunities for these daily showers and storms to pop this summer based on the summer outlook. It’s important to note rainfall totals vary greatly from one location to the next during the summer months.
As a result, it’s feasible to assume that some locations end up picking up much more rain than normal while others pick up near or just slightly above normal rainfall. Regardless, the Climate Prediction Center has placed all of Alabama in its “wetter than normal favored” category.
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